Pest Seasonality in Wisconsin

Stink bugs are a seasonal pest problem in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

Here in Wisconsin, pests are a problem all year-long. Different weather conditions and seasonality plays a large role in what pests are most active during certain parts of the year. Some pests that prefer warmer weather nearly disappear in the winter, while other pests in the fall will overwinter in your home until spring rolls around. To better prepare yourself for a possible infestation, it’s important to know which pests are common during certain parts of the year. With information from the NPMA, we are here to share all you need to know about pest seasonality in Wisconsin.

Fall & Winter Pests

Colder weather and snow will always drive more pests indoors in the fall and winter months. In 2020, it has been predicted that a milder winter than usual will result in prolonged Asian lady beetle and stink bug activity. Tick problems may also be active for longer this season. Other pests to be wary of during the colder months of the year in Wisconsin include rodents, boxelder bugs, carpenter ants, and more.

Winter pests in the Great Lakes United States map
 
Beetles
 
Stink Bugs
 
Ticks

Spring Pest Problems

Pest activity springs back into action once winter comes to an end. Blooming flowers, warming temperatures, and heavy rainfall encourages pests of all kinds to resume activity and reproduce. The common spring pests in Wisconsin include:

  • Ants. Certain ant species will forage for food in the warmer months. Rainy weather also drives ants out of their colonies and into homes for shelter.
  • Termites Every spring, termites leave their nests to mate and start new colonies. This is called “swarming”.
  • Mosquitoes. When we experience heavy rainfall, mosquito season will burst into life. With their peak season in the months following, they start to be more active in the spring.
  • Bed Bugs. While these are a year-round problem, increased traveling in the springtime always leads to an increase in bed bug activity.

Summer Pest Threats

Summertime in Wisconsin is the busiest pest season. Summer temperatures cause many types of pest colonies to mature and grow in size. Here are the ones to look out for in Wisconsin:

  • Mosquitoes. These parasitic insects lay more eggs in the summer and tend to be our biggest pest problem this time of year.
  • Stinging insects. Wasps, bees, and hornets are at full force in the summertime. They can build nests near residential areas.
  • Flies. Summer is the peak breeding season for flies. They are infamous for being a nuisance at outdoor summer events.
  • Termites. Warm weather is when termites are able to thrive and cause the most damage.

Year-Round Pests in Wisconsin

To better prepare yourself for an infestation, it’s important to understand the pest seasonality here in Wisconsin. Our colder winters may deter some pests, but they also can drive certain pests right into our homes. To protect your property from pests year-round, contact the pest control experts at Batzner.

Are There Pests Inside Your Christmas Tree?

Shake out your Christmas tree to expel insects before bringing it into your New Berlin WI or Oshkosh WI home - Batzner Pest Control

Every year, nearly 30 million households bring a real Christmas tree into their home. Not only are Christmas trees beautiful to look at, they’re fun to decorate, too! However, Christmas trees may harbor as many as 20,000 insects!

No one wants to deal with a pest infestation this time of year, which is why it’s important to learn how to prevent Christmas tree pests from making their way into your home. Keep reading for Batzner’s top tips on Christmas tree bug prevention!

Common Christmas Tree Bugs

Christmas tree bugs are typically tiny, and are mostly harmless. In fact, most of these insects aren’t adapted to live indoors and will die off within a few days. The most typical Christmas tree insects you may find in your real tree include:

  • Aphids: Perhaps the most common insect in Christmas trees, aphids are usually found in the lower branches of evergreen, balsam fir, spruce, Fraser firs, or white fir trees.
  • Bark beetles: These wood-boring insects are about the size of a grain of rice. Holes in the branches or trunk of your tree—or sawdust on your floor—are signs of bark beetles.
  • Mites: These minuscule bugs cause needle loss in Douglas firs, white pines, spruce trees, or Fraser firs.
  • Spiders: Probably the most feared Christmas tree pest is the spider! Spider egg sacs hidden within Christmas trees can cause homeowners a lot of grief.
  • Praying mantises: These identifiable insects are large, green, and harmless. Praying mantis egg sacs are also commonly found in Christmas trees.

How to Prevent a Christmas Tree Pest Infestation

If you’re a homeowner, the last thing you want to deal with during the holidays is a pest infestation. The most crucial step in preventing Christmas tree insects is to thoroughly inspect the tree by looking for irregularities, damage, or pests. Once you’ve chosen a winner, request to have the tree shaken out by a Christmas tree lot attendant to expel bugs. Lastly, it’s smart to store your tree in your garage or other covered area outside to encourage any lingering bugs to vacate the Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree Insect Control & Removal

If you’ve brought home an infested Christmas tree, there’s no reason to panic. Christmas tree bugs are typically harmless and won’t cause damage. If you need advice on getting rid of the bugs or want more tips on preventing Christmas tree pests, call the experts at Batzner Pest Control!

What Spring Pests to Expect: Ticks, Boxelder Bugs, Mosquitoes and Ants

As the weather warms and the ground thaws, spring pests will start to emerge from their winter hiding places to enjoy all the good things that the season has to offer. The additional pest activity can be a nuisance for homeowners, so be sure to keep an eye out for signs of infestations. Insect infestations can cause issues inside and outside the home that can be annoying and expensive to fix. Here are some common springtime insect pests to watch for, and the potential damage that can be caused by letting their populations get out of control:

  • Japanese Beetles– Japanese beetles begin the spring in their grub stage, nibbling away at your lawn’s root system. This can lead to dead spots and bare areas in the lawn which require reseeding. When the temperature gets warm enough, the grubs emerge from the ground as beetles and feed on the leaves of plants and trees, including ornamentals like roses.
  • TicksTicks start appearing in the spring, and can cause a number of problems if they are hanging out in your yard. Their bites, while occasionally very painful to people or pets, are usually just a mild annoyance. However, being bitten should be taken seriously, as ticks are known for spreading diseases such as Lyme Disease.
  • Boxelder BugsBoxelder bugs don’t typically cause extensive damage to homes or foliage during the spring. They spend their spring and summer feeding and reproducing on a select few kinds of trees, primarily female box elder trees, and only occasionally cause minor damage to fruits and leaves. Crushing them can release an unpleasant odor, and their feces can stain light colored surfaces. Allowing their population to go unchecked does create a nuisance in the fall, when they reenter the home in preparation for winter.
  • MosquitoesMosquito eggs begin hatching in the spring, and reach their adult stage in less than two weeks. As with ticks, mosquito bites are mostly an annoyance, but they can also spread diseases such as West Nile and yellow fever.
  • AntsAnts also emerge from their nests in the spring, and are often drawn into your home in search of a meal. In addition to crawling all over any food that has been left out, research has shown that ants can cause or exacerbate asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues for those sensitive to such problems.

More information on these pests, including signs of infestations, can be found on the National Pest Management Association’s website. As with other pests, spring insects are best handled by a professional. If you see any signs of an infestation in your home or workplace, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

How to Prevent Pantry Pests in Your Home – Tips for Bug-Free Holiday Baking

Holiday baking season is underway, which means plenty of houses will be full of breads, cookies, pies, and other tasty treats. Your family members aren’t the only ones who find these goodies delicious, so watch out for every baker’s worst enemy – pantry pests.

What are Pantry Pests?

Pantry pests, which include ants, earwigs, weevils, pillbugs, Indian meal moths, and merchant grain beetles, like to infest almost all major baking ingredients. Some of their favorites are flour, dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate, but some pests will also target cake mixes, grains, seeds, dog food, and candy. All four stages of beetle and moth development (egg, larva, pupa, and adult) may be present in the food, though eggs are rarely seen because of their small size. Most people don’t notice the infestation until the insects have reached the adult stage, though most damage is actually done while they are in the larval stage.

Most Common Pantry Pests

The Indian meal moth is the most commonly encountered external feeder and the most common pantry pest in homes. This moth is easily recognized by its two-toned forewings that are tan on the front third and reddish-copper on the back two-thirds. If disturbed, adults fly in a very irregular zigzag pattern. The larvae feed upon a wide variety of foods, including seasonal favorites like chocolate, dried fruits, crackers, nuts, and just about any other dried foods we line our tables and shelves with during the holidays.

Sawtoothed grain beetles, and its nearly identical cousin the Merchant grain beetle, are tiny brown beetles that have saw-like projections on either side of the thorax. They tend to feed on fine pieces of damaged or milled grain products. This pest can be a real menace to your holiday food; they feed upon a wide variety of our festive goodies, including dried fruits and meats, sugar, chocolate, various nuts, seeds, and items of similar character. Their small size permits them easier access into packaged food items and allows them to squeeze into the smallest cracks and crevices going unnoticed for long periods, leaving ample time to build up large populations in a short span.

In the flour beetle family, the red and confused are the most commonly encountered. These two reddish colored beetles are frequent scavengers of flour and grain meals which we commonly use to make our favorite seasonal cakes and pastries, as well as spices, dried fruits, and cereal products. They can easily penetrate into sealed food because of their small size.

Where do they come from?

While some pantry pests enter a house through cracks and crevices like other pests, it is much more likely that the original infestation took place at the food processing plant, storage facility, delivery vehicle, or retail sore. Because of this, inspecting baking ingredients before storing them is extremely important! Additionally, because a few eggs can be hard to catch, products that aren’t used very frequently should still be inspected on a regular basis.

What can I do about them?

Pantry pests can infest an area in a very short period of time, and can become a major nuisance very quickly. Here are some ways to avoid having your holiday baking season ruined by these pests:

Before Baking

  • Plan ahead and buy sealed glass or plastic containers to store your final results and their ingredients.
  • Inspect all the ingredients you will be using, both at your house and at the grocery store. Signs of infestation include visible pests and damaged packaging.
  • Check all expiration dates on ingredients before adding them to a recipe.

After Baking

  • Store finished baked goods and ingredients properly. Use glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Add a bay leaf to canisters of dry goods before you put them back in the pantry or cabinet. The herb’s strong smell is a repellent for many pantry pests.
  • Clean up all crumbs and spills from counters, floors, pantry shelves, cabinets, and sinks as soon as you are done.
  • Dispose of garbage in sealed receptacle and take outside in a timely manner.
  • Since baking ingredients will be out of the cabinets, take the opportunity to vacuum and wipe down the interiors with soap and water.

Check out our pest ID for more information on individual pests, and if there is any sign of an infestation present in your pantry, cabinets, or anywhere else in the house, please don’t hesitate to call 866-591-3519 or contact us online!